How to Set Up Parental Controls on iOS

Parental controls on iOS devices are essential for managing and restricting access to content and features, ensuring a safe digital environment for children. Learn how to set up and customize parental controls on your iPhone or iPad with our easy-to-follow guide.

What are Parental Controls?

Parental controls are settings that allow parents or guardians to manage what content and apps their children can access on iOS devices. These controls help restrict certain features and ensure age-appropriate usage.

Setting up Parental Controls on iOS

How to Set Up Parental Controls on iOS

Setting Up Parental Controls on iOS

1. Accessing Screen Time Settings

  • Open the “Settings” app on your iOS device.
  • Tap on “Screen Time” (for devices running iOS 12 and later) or “General” > “Restrictions” (for devices running iOS 11 and earlier).
  • Tap on “Turn On Screen Time” or “Enable Restrictions” to start setting up parental controls.

2. Creating a Screen Time Passcode

  • You will be prompted to create a Screen Time passcode. This passcode is different from your device’s passcode and ensures only you can access and modify parental control settings.
  • Choose a passcode that is easy for you to remember but difficult for children to guess.

3. Setting Downtime

  • Downtime allows you to schedule specific times when access to apps and notifications is restricted. This feature is useful for bedtime or study hours.
  • Tap on “Downtime” under Screen Time settings, set the desired start and end times, and choose which days to apply this schedule.

4. App Limits

  • App Limits let you set daily time limits for app categories like Games, Social Networking, or Entertainment.
  • Tap on “App Limits” under Screen Time settings, select an app category, and set a daily time limit. Once the limit is reached, the app will be blocked until the next day unless you grant additional time.

5. Content & Privacy Restrictions

  • Content & Privacy Restrictions allow you to control what content can be accessed on the device. This includes apps, websites, explicit content, and more.
  • Tap on “Content & Privacy Restrictions” under Screen Time settings or “Restrictions” (depending on your iOS version), enter your passcode, and toggle restrictions for various content types.

6. Other Parental Control Settings

  • iTunes & App Store Purchases: Restrict purchases and downloads from the iTunes & App Store based on content ratings and age appropriateness.
  • Allowed Apps: Customize which apps are allowed to be used on the device. You can prevent access to specific apps that you deem inappropriate.
  • Location Services: Manage and restrict location services for apps to protect your child’s privacy.

7. Managing Communication Limits

  • Communication Limits: Control who your child can communicate with via phone, FaceTime, Messages, and iCloud contacts.
    • Navigate to “Screen Time” > “Communication Limits.”
    • Set restrictions on who can contact your child during allowed screen time and downtime periods.

8. Privacy Settings for Safari and Apps

  • Privacy Settings: Safeguard your child’s online privacy by managing Safari and app permissions.
    • Go to “Settings” > “Screen Time” > “Content & Privacy Restrictions.”
    • Adjust settings for Safari, including blocking adult websites and managing cookies and website data.

9. Managing Location Sharing

  • Location Sharing: Ensure your child’s safety by managing location-sharing settings.
    • Navigate to “Settings” > “Privacy” > “Location Services.”
    • Review and manage which apps have access to location data, ensuring only trusted apps can track your child’s whereabouts.

10. Blocking In-App Purchases

  • In-App Purchases: Prevent accidental or unauthorized purchases within apps.
    • Go to “Settings” > “Screen Time” > “Content & Privacy Restrictions” > “iTunes & App Store Purchases.”
    • Disable in-app purchases to control spending and prevent unexpected charges.

11. Remote Management with Family Sharing

  • Family Sharing: Use Family Sharing to manage parental controls across multiple devices.
    • Set up Family Sharing in “Settings” > [Your Name] > “Set Up Family Sharing.”
    • Manage and monitor your child’s device usage remotely, including purchases and screen time limits.


In conclusion, setting up parental controls on your iOS device is straightforward and crucial for ensuring a safe digital environment for children. By following these steps to customize Screen Time and content restrictions, you can effectively manage and monitor your child’s device usage.